“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear is an emotion that Ronda Rousey is very familiar with. First and foremost, Rousey would have seen this much dreaded emotion imprinted on the face of her opponent more often than many other fighters. It had never been more apparent when she had a “KO” win over Alexis Davis in UFC 175 within a mere 16 seconds last July, a frightening record even for Rousey’s reputation.
There was not much room for controversy in that win. It was clean, decisive and an extraordinary display of skill from Rousey that saw her taking down Davis within 10 seconds into the match followed by an unrelenting rain of punches onto the challenger’s face that led to the KO win. What was remarkable about the whole fight was Davis’ behaviour from the start. As a fighter she was a veteran, 22 professional fights to show for, that was more than twice the record of Rousey. Five of which she won within the first round, two of which she won by submission barely a minute into the fight. She had never, prior to UFC 175 lost a fight within the first round. Yet there was doubt in her eyes when she stood opposite Rousey who already begun imposing terror onto the contestant with a stare down while the referee chants the rules of the game. As Davis approached Rousey in the octagon, it was as though her strikes are hesitant and her moves are reluctant. Fear had lost her the match before Rousey took her down.
Ronda Rousey has plenty of reason to be feared. In addition to her perfect undefeated record of 10 professional fights, Rousey had won 9 of them within the first round, 7 of which were concluded around a minute. However, like every MMA fighter, ultimately she is human and but flesh and blood. Fear is a natural and necessary part of human instinct that starts with a stimulus and triggers on a chain of reactions that results in a fight or flight respond. Rousey had not only done a stupendous job of disguising her fear but more so capitalise it into an exceptional weapon for her.
UFC recently posted the video of Cat Zingano’s victory over Meisha Tate in April 2013 to evoke interest for the match forthwith between Zingano and Rousey Feb 28th 2015. Zingano, like Rousey, has an undefeated record, but unlike Rousey, Zingano has 7 out of her 9 wins that runs well past the first round. At the conclusion of match with Tate, when Zingano had emerged winner, the camera zooms in on Rousey’s reaction. Considering that Zingano terminated the fight with a series of vicious elbows and knees to the head of Meisha Tate, Rousey whom made her success from submissions and grappling gave not the slightest hint of concern that Zingano would be of any threat to her at all. This was nearly two years ago when Rousey, while successful already by April 2013 had not been on her throne as long as she had been today. Now comfortably an undisputed leading Female MMA fighter in many sense of the term, there would be so more for Rousey to fear in losing that title than losing the match to Zingano.